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April, and others;
I do consider myself SBNR, and I DO consider it a virtue. Now, before you vilify me as one into "new age nonsense", let me explain a bit more. I attend church every Sunday; I'm firmly in the "evangelical" camp; I'm an ordained minister with an advanced degree in Theology; and I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart and soul. I write, record, and perform music that firmly and freely proclaims the gospel of Jesus. So why am I "SBNR"?
Because I've thrown out the bath water. I've freed myself from the need to follow the doctrines of men who have added a great weight to the simplicity of the message of Jesus. I could go into great detail here, but suffice it to say that when the jailer asked Paul what he must do to be saved, Paul's response was "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ..." Paul didn't add, "Oh, and believe in our interpretation of what the 'inspiration of the scriptures' means..." or,"..and believe in our version of the doctrine of the Trinity", or..." and believe in tithing and going door to door and reading a set number of Bible chapters each day and speaking in tongues or being entirely sanctified or whatever our pet doctrine of the month should happen to be..."
Even though I attend church, and enjoy it, I don't need a church to tell me how to live, or to tell me that I have to do those things that are "right" so as to avoid hellfire. I don't need a minister to give me his or her interpretation of the Bible. I can listen for the voice of the Spirit, and be led in the right ways simply because they are the right ways, not because doing so saves me from hellfire...
Religion enslaves. Religion ensnares. Religion grows fear and religion discourages the ability to think for oneself. Spirituality is liberating. Spirituality keeps the "baby" while discarding the old, stagnant, disgusting, dirty bath water of tradition, dogma, and man made doctrine.
I agree, the real measure is if one is obeying the Lord. But one does not need religion to do that.
Lately, I've noticed MANY posts from "religious" writers bemoaning the SBNR crowd. Could it be that some are feeling threatened because they feel the control that religion has always afforded slipping slowly but steadily through their fingers? "Control?" sneers God..."I don't need no stinkin' control..." But it seems so many of His "spokespeople" do.... God just needs to be God. He will draw to Him all who will listen... regardless of whether or not they're "religious"...
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